Winners and losers from Round 1 of 2024 NFL Draft: Eagles find their CB, Kirk Cousins gets slighted

Finally, the NFL draft has finally started from the city of Detroit.

The first round is officially over and each of the 32 selections brings a renewed sense of hope to the franchises that made those picks. But there is still a lot of work to be done. Rounds 2 and 3 will take place Friday evening, then Saturday rounds 4 to 7.

It will take some time to see how these choices play out, but that won’t stop us from reacting and analyzing.

We take stock of the winners and losers of the first round.


Quarterbacks — The quarterbacks went off the board Thursday night, with six of them going in the first 12 picks. Caleb Williams (Bears, first), Jayden Daniels (Commanders, second), Drake Maye (Patriots, third), Michael Penix Jr. (Falcons, eighth), JJ McCarthy (Vikings, 10th) and Bo Nix (Broncos, 12th) combined to tie the historic QB draft class of 1983 for the most first-round picks. But never have six left the table as quickly as Thursday evening. Some of these shifts will probably start right away. Others may sit for a while. But for now, they serve as symbols of hope for better days to come for their new franchises.

Offensive players — Each draft reflects a different trend and this year has a strong offensive flavor as it took 14 picks before the first defensive player came off the board. That player was Laiatu Latu, UCLA’s power forward, who finished 15th in Indianapolis. In total, 23 offensive players participated in the first round while only nine defensive players were drafted.


NFL Draft Opens With Record 14 Straight Offensive Picks

Kyler Murray — Last season, the Arizona Cardinals quarterback returned from reconstructive knee surgery but returned to an offense short on potential game-changing talent. But Cardinals officials used the fourth pick in the draft to acquire Marvin Harrison Jr., who is considered by many to be the best player in the draft. Harrison gives Murray and the Cardinals a refined route runner who also possesses good size and speed.

Philadelphia Eagles — The Eagles needed help at cornerback, and they even called to potentially move up in the draft to better position themselves to take the corner of their choice. But neither team in front of them had a pressing need for a corner and Quinyon Mitchell landed in their laps at No. 22 without Philly having to part with any additional assets.

Daniel Jones — The New York Giants have done a lot of work on quarterbacks in the draft. It was said that they could have used the sixth pick on a passer, which could have meant the end for Jones, who has largely disappointed since New York drafted him sixth in 2019. However, the Giants instead used the sixth pick on LSU wide receiver. Malik Nabers, and that means Jones will likely get another chance to establish himself.

LSU expansions — First Nabers finished sixth, then Brian Thomas Jr. finished 23rd at Jacksonville. This is the first time LSU has two first-round wide receivers. Now, Nabers and Thomas will look to join Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, DJ Chark and Odell Beckham as LSU’s next big receivers. It was a big night overall for the wide receivers, as a total of seven came off the board in the first round.

(Photo: Grégory Shamus / Getty Images)


Kirk Cousins— Just months after signing him to a four-year, $180 million contract, the Atlanta Falcons stunned Kirk Cousins ​​by selecting Penix. Cousins, who didn’t learn of the team’s plans until the Falcons were on the clock, is coming off a torn Achilles tendon, but his recovery from surgery is going well and he was looking forward to to return home to Atlanta. But now, Cousins ​​could be looking for another opportunity sooner than expected (most of the guaranteed money in his contract is for the first two seasons). Penix will likely sit and learn this year, and if Cousins ​​falters in 2025, the Falcons could move on from the kid.

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Cousins ​​stunned Falcons drafted Penix Jr. in first round

Las Vegas Raiders — The Raiders needed to find their long-term answer at quarterback and would be wise to move up in the draft to ensure they were in a position to take one. Well, the Raiders failed to advance, and by the time they got to No. 13, all six quarterbacks considered potential saviors of the franchise had been chosen. For now, Aidan O’Connell and Gardner Minshew remain the Raiders’ only options at quarterback. They could look for a passer in the second or third round, but such a player would likely be a project.

Zach Wilson — The Broncos took Wilson off the Jets’ hands just a few days ago, and it looked like Wilson might have a chance to reset, learn from Sean Payton and potentially save his career in Denver. But then the Broncos used the 12th pick to draft Nix. Now, the best Wilson can hope for is a slow learning process for Nix and the struggles of Jarrett Stidham, who started two games in Denver last season, so he can somehow get through make a path on the ground. Otherwise, his practice reps and playing opportunities will be severely limited.

Defensive backs — The cornerbacks endured a long wait Thursday night as 21 players went off the board before Mitchell went to the Eagles. Mitchell, a Toledo product, lands in a good position on a defense with a strong front. But he could have done it without delay. Mitchell’s wait wasn’t the longest, however. Two picks later, Alabama corner Terrion Arnold finally got the call as the Lions traded up to take him 24th. This is the longest cornerback wait since 1995, when Tyrone Poole went 22nd to Carolina and Ty Law 23rd to New England.

Buffalo tickets — Buffalo brass dealt a headache as they fell back in the first round after a pick swap with the Chiefs. Kansas City used this pick to recruit speedy Texas player Xavier Worthy. Buffalo needs help at the wide receiver position, and the Chiefs are the only team Buffalo will never beat in the playoffs. So, passing up a chance to help themselves and then help strengthen a primary opponent could really come back to haunt the Bills. Then, to make matters worse, the Bills turned around and moved from the 32nd pick back to the 33rd. The Panthers, who moved there, used that pick to take South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette – another player who could have really helped Buffalo.

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(Photo: Grégory Shamus / Getty Images)

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